The best places to eat, stay, shop and visit in the South West


Unlike some parts of Cornwall that enjoy heady high and tumbleweed low seasons, Falmouth is a perennial staycation spot
Falmouth harbour - Falmouth staycation guide

Unlike some parts of Cornwall that enjoy heady high and tumbleweed low seasons, Falmouth is a perennial staycation spot. The lively and creative destination has spacious stretches of sand as well as a bustling town centre brimming with indie shops and restaurants. Here’s where you shouldn’t miss

Where to stay

Falmouth isn’t short of fabulous places to sleep – your conundrum will be choosing just one for the duration of your stay.

For a bed with a view The Greenbank Hotel is your first port of call. The gorgeous 17th century building began life as a sailors’ pub and has been extended over the years to house 61 rooms, many of which reveal waterside views of the estuary from balconies and huge picture windows.

Also offering unspoilt harbour-gazing opportunities is Star & Garter‘s collection of contemporary apartments. Located above the excellent dining pub and just off the High Street, the self-contained suites are stylish, spacious and right at the heart of the action.

Away from the hubbub of the town and overlooking Gyllyngvase Beach is St Michaels Resort. Weekenders with a penchant for pampering will want to book a room at this sleek hotel. Its swanky spa and tailored breaks make it a must-visit for a few days of indulgence.

Foodies will also appreciate staying at Merchants Manor with its three AA rosette restaurant Rastella. Head chef Hylton Espey’s menus are an ode to the local producers, farmers and fishermen who stock his kitchen. For the no-holds- barred experience, go for the tasting menu.

Star & Garter

Where to eat

Whether you’re craving dazzlingly fresh fish or casual Asian eats, Falmouth is a treasure trove of dining opportunities. Seafood enthusiasts should pop a booking reminder in their calendars up to three months before their trip if they want to secure a table at The Wheelhouse, as this crab and oyster bar is on every visitor’s must-do list. While the restaurant has an enviable reputation (and long waiting list), the staff are super friendly and the vibe casual.

Another good call for fantastic fish is Hooked On The Rocks at Swanpool. On sunny days, take a seat on the terrace and enjoy panoramic views of the Cornish coastline while feasting on Falmouth lobster, local mussels and dayboat fish.

You can’t get much closer to the water than Gylly Beach Cafe. By day, the beachside venue serves speciality-grade coffee and casual eats. Then, when the sun sets, head chef Dale McIntosh creates contemporary evening dishes using locally sourced ingredients.

For the ultimate harbourside picnic, pay a visit to Robo Asian Bar + Canteen. Keep it clean and order the minimal-mess sando stuffed with coronation chicken or, if you’re game to enter the splash zone, dive into a bowl of fragrant ramen topped with crispy caramel pork belly.

Robo Asian Bar + Canteen

Where to drink

Falmouth has been a hub of speciality activity since the coffee movement took root in the South West in the early 2010s. However, the addition of Beacon Coffee to the High Street in February 2018 took the town’s coffee credentials next level. Visit to taste and discover exceptional beans from some of Europe’s top roasteries.

Part bookshop, part pub: Beerwolf Books takes the best bits of the original concepts to create a welcoming place to hunker down with a new book and craft pint. The 18th-century building is easy to miss so look out for its statement red door at the end of a long alleyway off Market Street.

Dolly’s Tea Room is a stalwart entry on any foodie guide to Falmouth, and for good reason: who wouldn’t want to drink cocktails served from vintage teapots, tuck in to homemade cakes and revel in retro vibes? Gin fans will also like the hefty collection of small-batch bottles on the drinks list.

Beacon Coffee

Where to shop

Planning a walk along the South West Coast Path to Maenporth Beach? Pick up carby goods for the journey at Stones Bakery before you set off. The team on the High Street rise at dawn to create delicious sweet and savoury pastries, plus perfect loaves of chewy sourdough (at a fraction of the price of those sold in city set-ups).

For plastic-free picnic goods, take your reusables on a roadtrip to un-rap. The zero-waste shop is stocked with sustainable food items such as nuts, banana chips, chocolate buttons and yogurt-covered raisins which you can store in your own containers and snaffle on day trips.

It’s hard to miss The Bean Hive‘s cotton-candy-pink shopfront on the High Street. The colourful shop is a must-visit for kooky homewares, design-led stationery and gorgeous gifts to remind you of your visit.

The pandemic has significantly affected advertising revenue in the publishing industry. If you would like to support Food Magazine, why not take out a subscription to our beautiful print edition which we’ll deliver to your door? Subscribe here for just £25 per year.

Churchill Recreate
Indy Cafe Cookbook Volume 2
South West 660
Most read

Don't miss a thing

Get the lowdown on our latest finds – from boutique hotels and special places to stay to events, restaurant openings and more – delivered direct to your inbox via the Food Lifestyle email newsletter.